Lake Area Prospect Watch: Week 6

Class of 2016

Tyler Bradfield  6-1  190  Sr  ATH  Rockford: He set the tone last week on the first play from scrimmage, coming up from his safety spot to lay a TFL on Caledonia. A lot of Bradfield’s ability was displayed in that play alone, as for a lanky athlete he closes quickly and can really deliver a hit. He has 4.6 speed but looks faster in pads because with intelligence and feel (and the experience of a third-year starter) he always seems to be in the right spot, he accelerates both defensively and offensively allowing him to make plays on the ball in coverage, then causes havoc in blitz packages. You’d be hard-pressed to find a better all-around football player in the Lake Area than Bradfield, who in his Rockford tenure has scored TDs via the run, catch, kickoff return, interception return and fumble return. More versatility? Last season Bradfield led the Rams in tackles, this year he’s their leading receiver. He should have multiple MAC offers.

Mike Bordeaux  6-3  270  OL/DL  Muskegon Mona Shores: Christian Boyd gets much of the attention, but Bordeaux gives the Sailors another ballast at D tackle which allows all the athletes behind them to run wild in what looks like the Lake Area’s most dangerous defense. He’ll most likely end up on the interior of a college offensive line. He admirably plays the same either way, physical, low, powerful, the one initiating contact. He doesn’t flash like or have the shoulders and reach of a D1 lineman, but Bordeaux should make a blue-collar living in the GLIAC.

Carter Eckhardt  6-1  195  Sr  RB/LB  Mansitee: Closing in on 200 pounds with 4.7 speed and a handful of all-state track honors, Eckhardt can physically dominate against smaller schools. But he’s an end-around not cut-back runner, so will most likely end up a 4-3 weakside linebacker for a small college.

Jake Martin  5-11  190  QB/DB  Grand Rapids Forest Hills Northern: Simply one of the best players in school history, Martin has Northern on the brink of another playoff berth, 5-0 going in this week against Cedar Springs. The Huskies were dominant last week opening O-K Gold play with a 62-22 win over Greenville. Martin was 8-for-14 passing for 176 yards and TDs of 50, 15 and 26 yards (two of those to favorite target Adam Farah) while running for 209 yards and 5 TDs, with a long run of 59 yards. Through five games he’s run for 14 TDs and thrown for 10. While you look at his size and say he’ll have to play in the defensive backfield in college, maybe not so fast … Martin isn’t that small, he operates behind a big line able enough, and he’s a die-hard leader and winner. High-end grades make him that much more attractive a recruit for the Ivy, Patriot or GLIAC

David Williams  6-3  225  Sr  LB  Holland Christian: The Maroons are rarely thought of as a defensive team, but Williams has been a stopper for them for now three seasons. He’s both Holland Christian’s leading tackler and rusher as a senior. Few players in the Lake Area have a better frame for their position, though Williams may be an even better baseball catching than outside linebacker prospect.

Jacob Tuleme  6-3  230  Sr  DL  Muskegon Orchard View: Davenport continues to build the foundation of its new program with Lake Area talent, and Tuleme is the latest commitment. He’s a defensive end who uses his 4.8 speed to flush the pocket for Orchard View. With more finishing power would be a GLIAC recruit.

Class of 2017

Reide Klinger  6-4  265  Jr  OL  Jenison: East Kentwood’s speed-over-size defense has served the Falcons well. Until they ran into Jenison’s running game last week, when the imposing Klinger swallowed up both linemen and linebackers from his right tackle spot and helped the Wildcats’ senior running back Brock Bethke run for 282 yards on previously unbeaten Kentwood. What stands out about Klingler is that unlike so many young linemen, he’s neither skinny, nor sloppy, just a real solid physical specimen that can can continue to add good weight. His pass blocking technique needs to be seen more, and flexibility and speed need to improve. But this is a rugged run blocker that is GLIAC for sure and should be on MAC radars.

Ben Sherwin  6-5  230  Jr  OL  Traverse City Central: Another prospect from the offensive line proving ground that is the Big North Conference. He’s a sometimes two-way lineman for TC Central, which is undefeated and looking to clinch a playoff berth this week against Petoskey. Offensively, Sherwin has shown some versatility as a left tackle but also some time at guard, with some speed consistently getting into the second level; does a good job of getting parallel with a straight back when pass blocking. Needs to get stronger at point of attack and lock up more consistently, can get caught off balance and lunging. His father Greg Sherwin was a left tackle for CMU, and it’s no stretch to imagine the son playing at that level as well.

Nate Umlor  6-5  245  Jr  DL/TE  Allendale: With a last name made for line play and the frame to boot, Umlor hasn’t disappointed since we saw him starting as a freshman for Allendale at Hopkins back in 2013. He anchors the line as the strongside D end, drawing a lot of attention but still consistently bringing pressure. Offensively, Allendale has looked Umlor’s way a bit more often as an upperclassman, as he posts well in the end zone and has three TDs, and when not a target blocks well in space. Power Five programs have noticed the talent. Umlor visited U-M for the BYU game last week, was at Iowa earlier in the season and plans to visit Tennessee in November.

Andrew Ward  6-2  215  Jr  LB  Muskegon: Ward put himself on the board as a sophomore when he was thrown into the starting lineup in the Division 3 state semifinals, and held his own helping shut down the most potent wing-T offense in the Lake Area, Zeeland West’s. As an upperclassman he’s become a stalwart at middle linebacker for the Big Reds. Ward certainly passes the look test with an athletic frame and 4.6 speed, and more importantly is aggressive and plays to that speed. As he continues to pick up the nuances of the position don’t be surprised to find him in the MAC in two years.

Class of 2018

Jaylen Mayfield  6-5  225  OL/DL  Grand Rapids Catholic Central: He’s on track to be a four-year varsity player for one of the Lake Area’s most storied programs. CC’s right tackle, he has the length and speed that you can do so much with on either side of the ball. Could play tight end as well.

Lake Area Honors: Week 5

Lake Area Offensive Player of the Week

Brock Bethke  5-11  185  Sr  RB  Jenison: It was the Lake Area’s biggest upset of the week, if not the season, when perpetually moribund Jenison rose up to knock off previously undefeated, previously Division 1 No. 1 East Kentwood 28-7. Bethke proved to be both a workhorse and big-play back for the Wildcats, with 36 carries for 282 yards including TD runs covering 68 and 38 yards.

Lake Area Defensive Player of the Week

Joe Dault  6-1  190  Sr  LB  Forest Hills Eastern: Though still quite potent offensively, FHE has scored successively fewer points in in four straight weeks. So it was a good time for the defense to make some plays in their 34-21 defeat of Grand Rapids Northview. Dault certainly answered the bell for the Hawks, making 24 tackles. Forest Hills Eastern is now 5-0, tying the best start in the school’s dozen-yaer history.

Lake Area Small School Player of the Week

Blake Dunn  5-11  175  Jr  QB  Saugatuck: How was that for a prescient Prospect Watch? Featured last week, Dunn went out and justified the love in Saguatuck’s 50-20 defeat of Decatur. Dunn ran 24 times for 360 yards including TDs 99, 67, 59, five and one yard and completed 5-of-9 passes for 140 yards and two TDs covering 47 and 43 yards. When not under center, Dunn made an interception and kicked a 26-yard field goal for the 5-0 Indians.

Lake Area Northern Michigan Player of the Week

Logan Eling  5-10  160  Jr  WR  McBain: Eling caught two fourth-quarter TDs from McBain QB Jimmy Schneider as the Ramblers rallied from down 18-6 to beat Manton 26-24. Eling caught three balls for 119 yards including a 76-yard TD. He also made an interception as McBain improved to 4-1.

Lake Area Coach of the Week

Aaron Sims, Hesperia: Hesperia hasn’t made the playoffs since 2002, but is just a win away after a 5-0 start. In just his second season, Sims has Hesperia off to its best start since 1992. The Panthers’ wing-T is humming, most recently beating Holton 39-12 to claim the “Golden Football.”

2015 Senior Exposure Camp Set for December 5


Calling all seniors from the Class of 2016!

If you have the passion and potential to play football in college, you won’t want to miss our 2015 Senior Exposure Camp in Grand Rapids on Saturday, December 5th! For the fourth straight year, we’ll be giving top prospects the best opportunity to play in front of college coaches and talk with them after the camp! Click the picture or the link below for more details and to reserve your spot today!

Lake Area Team Rankings: Week 6

Division 1

  1. Rockford  3-2 (No. 2 in previous rankings)
  2. Hudsonville  4-1 (No. 4)
  3. East Kentwood  4-1 (No. 1)
  4. Grandville  2-3 (No. 3)
  5. Grand Haven  2-3 (No. 5)

Division 2

  1. Muskegon Mona Shores  5-0 (No. 1)
  2. Portage Central  5-0 (No. 3)
  3. Traverse City Central  5-0 (No. 4)
  4. Caledonia  2-3 (No. 2)
  5. Jenison  3-2 (NR)

Division 3

  1. Muskegon  4-1 (No. 1)
  2. Lowell  4-1 (No. 2)
  3. Forest Hills Northern  5-0 (No. 3)
  4. East Grand Rapids  4-1 (No. 4)
  5. Grand Rapids Christian  3-2 (No. 5)
  6. Cedar Springs  3-2 (NR)
  7. Petoskey  4-1 (NR)
  8. Byron Center  4-1 (No. 9)
  9. Gaylord  4-1 (No. 7)
  10. Stevensville Lakeshore  3-2 (No. 8)

Division 4

  1. Zeeland West  5-0 (No. 1)
  2. Comstock Park  4-1 (No. 2)
  3. Grand Rapids Catholic Central  4-1 (No. 3)
  4. Forest Hills Eastern  5-0 (No. 4)
  5. Edwardsburg  5-0 (No. 6)
  6. Hudsonville Unity Christian  3-2 (No. 5)
  7. Paw Paw  3-2 (NR)
  8. Whitehall  3-2 (No. 7)
  9. Vicksburg 3-2 (No. 8)
  10. Dowagiac 3-2 (No. 10)

Division 5

  1. Muskegon Oakridge  4-1 (No. 1)
  2. Grand Rapids West Catholic  3-2 (No. 2)
  3. Big Rapids  4-1 (No. 3)
  4. Reed City  5-0 (No. 4)
  5. Berrien Springs  5-0 (No. 5)
  6. Grayling  4-1 (No. 6)
  7. Buchanan  5-0 (No. 7)
  8. Manistee  5-0 (No. 8)
  9. Chippewa Hills  4-1 (No. 9)
  10. Wyoming Godwin Heights  3-2 (NR)

Division 6

  1. Grand Rapids NorthPointe Christian  5-0 (No. 1)
  2. Montague  5-0 (No. 2)
  3. Schoolcraft  5-0 (No. 4)
  4. Watervliet  4-1 (No. 5)
  5. Boyne City  4-1 (No. 3)
  6. Lawton  5-0 (No. 6)
  7. Constantine 3-2 (No. 7)
  8. Mason County Central 3-2 (No. 8)
  9. Niles Brandywine  3-2 (NR)
  10. Charlevoix  3-2 (No. 9)

Division 7

  1. Traverse City St. Francis  4-0 (No. 1)
  2. Saugatuck  5-0 (No. 2)
  3. Gobles  4-1 (No. 3)
  4. Maple City Glen Lake  4-1 (No. 4)
  5. Hesperia  5-0 (No. 5)
  6. McBain  4-1 (No. 6)
  7. Bridgman  4-1 (No. 8)
  8. Decatur  3-2 (No. 9)
  9. Cassopolis  3-2 (No. 7)
  10. Harbor Springs  3-2 (No. 10)

Division 8

  1. Muskegon Catholic Central  3-1 (No. 1)
  2. Johannesburg-Lewiston  4-0 (No. 2)
  3. Onekama  4-1 (No. 3)
  4. Frankfort  4-1 (No. 4)
  5. Central Lake 3-2 (No. 5)

Lake Area Prospect Watch: Week 5

Class of 2016

Kyle Augustine  6-3  320  Sr  OL/DL  Gaylord: The Big North churns out the offensive linemen as well as any league in the Lake Area, but recently those college prospects have been concentrated in Traverse City or Cadillac. But here come the undefeated Blue Devils, anchored at left tackle and DT by Augustine. While you wish there were a couple more inches to send him MAC, when you consider how well he carries his weight, improved quickness and knack for just burying defenders the GLIAC has to love him as a guard. He can get into the second level easily now, and plays through the whistle.

David Curl  6-3  250  Sr  DL  Watervliet: Curl is a sleeper recruit given his school, physical profile and production. He’s a 4 or 5 technique right end who is slippery going either direction and plays downhill. He’s been a beast for the ‘Vliet, with 8 1/2 sacks and four tackles for loss through four games. He also returned a fumble 52 yards for a TD against Coloma. 

Ryan Knight  6-2  200  Sr  WR  Forest Hills Eastern: He’s been a TD machine since his sophomore season, finding the end zone in 14 of his last 16 games. He has five through four games this year — made all the more sweeter since all have been FHE wins. Thus far in his senior season Knight has 21 catches for 304 yards and five TDs. While he’s not a blazer, Knight’s 4.6 speed is nothing to scoff at particularly because he accelerates quickly into routes, adjusts to throws and has outstanding size for a high school receiver. That size also pays off because he’s a capable and willing blocker, and goes both ways as an outside linebacker who has two interceptions and a sack.

Class of 2017

Johnathan Berghorst  6-3  260  Jr  DL  Zeeland East: At 3-1 the Chix are one of the Lake Area’s turnaround teams. Berghorst has been strong for them holding down the right side of the defensive line, and will have the chance to solidify himself as a to five prospect in the 2017 class going through a strong O-K Black schedule — Mona Shores then Muskegon coming up, both on the road. He maintains the gaps and commands double teams but is strong enough to blow them up, and if not making plays on the ball himself helps clear avenues for others to. Able to shed blockers and keep his feet against the run. Formerly a tight end, Berghorst now starts at offensive tackle as well for ZE. A strong-side D end now, if he continues to add strength and weight during the next two off-seasons like he did the past one, a likely defensive tackle at the next level. How high will that level be? As of now, he has offers from Illinois and WMU and will visit Purdue this weekend.

Keegan Cossou  6-5  230  Jr  TE  Greenville: He looks like the an upper-tier Big Ten recruit thanks to textbook size for the position and how he’s embraced the blocking dirty work to complement his natural athletic skill and soft hands. He’ll block like a tackle on one play, then line up wide and easily find spaces to convert against zone coverage the next. Against man coverage he simply overpowers defenders and at his height can make plays on the ball at a higher plane. However, it would be nice to see more routes from his actual tight end position. Cossou has offers from CMU and Toledo, and interest from MSU, Ohio State, U-M, Notre Dame, Northwestern, Iowa and Pitt.

Blake Dunn  5-11  175  Jr  ATH  Saugatuck: Put an asterisk by this statement if you want, since it’s at a small school, but Dunn may be the best all-around, multi-sport athlete in the Lake Area. In track, he’s own consecutive 300 hurdle titles in Division 4, and was second in the 110 hurdles, fifth in the long jump and anchored the state championship 4×400 team for the Indians. That same spring on the baseball diamond he set school records with a .588 batting average, 42 RBI and 42 stolen bases, and threw a no-hitter in the district final. He keeps loose in the winter starting for Saugatuck’s basketball team. Oh yeah, football. This season, playing under his dad Bill Dunn for 4-0 Saugatuck, the QB has run 75 times for 901 yards and 11 TDs, completed 24-of-38 passes for 348 yards and six TDs to one interception; defensively forced two fumbles and made an interceptions; kicked 12 PATs.

Brandon Goins  6-0  230  Jr  LB  Hesperia: At the smaller school level, he’s at times a physical force from his inside linebacker spot. Goins isn’t afraid to mix it up and plays with some attitude. While he has decent straight-line speed — he’s had some big rushing games as Hesperia’s fullback — improvements in agility and swivel to get back into coverage will determine his college level.

Phillip Paea  6-4  260  Jr  DL/OL  Berrien Springs: Two years ago, Berrien Springs had two major recruits, Jhonnny Williams (Notre Dame) and Nick Padla (Michigan State), but little to show for it on the field. There aren’t any big names — yet — on the 2015 roster, but enough solid prospects playing together that the Shamrocks are off to a 4-0 start. Paea is part of that team effort, and he’s helped senior Malik McIntyre to some big games running the ball. The first thing that stands about about Paea offensively, as a high school guard, is his physical length and speed when pulling. He’s a one-time fullback, and blocks like it with good pad level and leg drive. Those same physical attributes help him attacking as a hands-up rusher from the ends, though he needs to develop his technique. A very intriguing prospect and between Paea and 6-3, 215 junior linebacker Steve Spenner, Berrien Springs will have the college coaches back in the fold.

Brayden Smith  6-4  180  Jr  WR  Byron Center: Also a scholarship-level basketball recruit, if Smith follows football he could be a top 10 recruit in the Lake Area’s 2017 class. Smith has all the athleticism you want, as he combines a 40 in the 4.5s with an explosive vertical.

Class of 2018

Braeden Childress  6-4  215  So  QB  Big Rapids: He’d started the first four games of the season at tight end, but will be under center Friday as Big Rapids tries to capture a playoff berth against Bay City John Glenn. It’s actually not the first time Childress will start a game at QB. Last season, for Baldwin, he won an opening round playoff games completing 13-of-22 passes for 267 yards and five TDs in a win over Brethren. Though his older brother Brandon was a star quarterback himself, and now a receiver at CMU, Braeden is a different kind of athlete, a big pocket passer with an arm and a calm nature for his age.

Lake Area Honors: Week 4

Lake Area Offensive Player of the Week

Drew Couturier  5-9  150  Jr  WR  Allendale: Allendale can get enough Couturiers. While Nate is now at Davenport, younger brother Drew is keeping up the family tradition of big-time talent in a small package. In a 42-20  win over Hamilton, he caught nine passes for 295 yards and five TDs. Couturier also returned a kickoff for a TD and made two interceptions.

Lake Area Defensive Player of the Week

Christian Boyd  6-2  270  Sr  DL  Mona Shores: As sexy as their offense can be, Mona Shores can get it done on the other side of the ball, as well. It starts up front with Boyd at defensive tackle, sucking in blockers and letting the Sailors’ athletes go to work behind him. Mona won at Caledonia 30-7, despite losing QB Tyler Trovinger to a shoulder injury, as they didn’t allow an offensive touchdown.

Lake Area Small School Player of the Week

Chris Kowalski  5-11  195  Sr  LB/RB  Harbor Springs: Harbor Springs, now 3-1, is a ranked team this season for the first time in the LMFR’s four-year history, thanks to players like Kowalski who returned an interception for a TD in the Rams’ 38-0 win over Suttons Bay. Kowalkski is also a standout running back for Harbor.

Lake Area Northern Michigan Player of the Week

Brent Murray  5-11  195  Sr  RB  Petoskey: We’ve been touting Murray for awhile, but he topped even our expectations in his most recent outing. In P-town’s 27-9 win over TC West, he carried the ball 28 times for a school-record 367 yards and three TDs. The previous record was 345 yards by Warren Gero against Cadillac in 2007.

Lake Area Coach of the Week

Ralph Munger, Rockford: Since coming to Rockford from Frankenmuth in 1992, Munger has established Rockford, year in and out, as the top Division 1 program in the Lake Area, the dominant program in the rugged O-K Red. The Rams’ shutout of Grandville was the 300th win of Munger’s career.

Lake Area Honors: Week 3

Lake Area Offensive Player of the Week

Jack Clark  5-11  175  Sr  QB  Forest Hills Eastern: Apparently Jake Martin isn’t the only talented senior QB in the Forest Hills district. Nor is his Northern squad the only undefeated team. Forest Hills Eastern is now 3-0 after beating Grand Rapids West Catholic 48-15. Clark was 14-of-24 passing for 177 yards and three TDS, while running for three TDs himself.

Lake Area Defensive Player of the Week

Devante Walker  5-6  160  Jr  DB  Traverse City Central: He didn’t shy from the spotlight of the biggest game of the year in Northern Michigan, when Traverse City Central and West play at Thirlby Field. In overtime, Walker, a cornerback, intercepted West in the end zone on a pass intended to a receiver a foot taller. That set up John Pupel’s game-winning TD run for Central. Walker also had a crucial 54-yard run during regulation, which set up another Pupel TD.

Lake Area Small School Player of the Week

Kade Witte  5-10  175  Jr  RB  Hesperia: He ran the ball 16 times for 302 yards and four TDs in Hesperia’s 38-13 defeat of Newaygo. He had 12 carries for 152 yards and two TDs the previous week against Ludington.

Lake Area Northern Michigan Player of the Week

Andre Jones  5-6  165  Sr  RB  Reed City: Combine Jones’ 4.5 speed with Reed City’s run-heavy offense, and big things ensue. In a 44-7 win over Newaygo, he had 11 carries for 130 yards and three TDs. On the season for 3-0 Reed City, Jones has rushed for 540 yards — 18.6 per carry — and nine TDS, and also returned an interception for a TD. H

Lake Area Coach of the Week

Shane Fairfield, Muskegon: The thing about standing on the shoulders of giants? You can fall off. Fewer than 10 high school programs in the country have 800 wins. Muskegon became the ninth, and the first in Michigan, to reach that mark with the Big Reds’ win over Grandville. Fairfield has been on the sidelines for 54 of them since taking over the program in the 2010 season.

Lake Area Prospect Watch: Week 3

Class of 2016

James Haverkamp  6-6  265  Sr  OL  Grand Rapids Christian: He’s a second-year starter at left tackle for the Eagles, a position previously held by Tommy Doles. That would be an unfair comparison for most any player, as Doles had a rare mix of athleticism and attitude which is why he’s now playing for Northwestern. What Haverkamp does bring is a lanky tackle frame just pleading for 40 college pounds and strong technique. He was able to consistently get his hands on smaller, quicker Muskegon rushers. This is the kind of line prospect the GLIAC lines up for.

Nolan Meekhof  6-1  225  Sr  RB/LB  Grandville: Grandville is no stranger to big backs, as Meekhof compares favorably to Andrew Hawken a decade ago with 4.6 speed at over 220 pounds. After high school, Hawken ended up starting 10 games over the course of his career at fullback for Michigan State. And when we’re being really optimistic, like last week when Meekhof rushed 25 times for 271 yards and two TDs, he looks like the best big back out of the O-K Red since John Anes at East Kentwood 20 years ago. He also did some blocking for another Grandville back, Parker Reminga, who ran for 123 yards and three TDs. That was the most prolific game of Meekhof’s career. He ran 25 times for 256 yards and a TD in the 2014 playoff against EK.

Lukas Thompson  6-0  180  Sr  WR/DB  Grand Rapids Christian: Hailed as the next Drake Harris as a freshman, Thompson looked like it if fleetingly in the season opener with a career game of 176 receiving yards and a TD, and an interception. He ate up South Christian in the 2014 opener as well, stepping in at QB to run for 120 yards and a TD. But what is fast against South Christian is average against Muskegon. Thompson saw a first-quarter pass attempt sail through his hands and was not to be heard from again in the Big Reds’ win. His real potential is at cornerback, as he’s learned to get physical in press coverage, will hit and has some talent around the ball.

Class of 2017

Jacorey Sullivan  6-3  205  Jr  WR/DB  Muskegon: There are a number of playmakers on Muskegon’s defense, what makes Sullivan stand out is that he’s showing sideline-to-sideline speed via a college frame. Offensively he’s aspiring to Joeviear Kennedy’s role of big target and big blocker. Sullivan is one of the Lake Area’s top 10 overall recruits for 2017.

Lake Area 2017 Top 10 Prospects
  1. Corey Malone Hatcher  6-3  245  Jr  LB  St. Joseph
  2. Keegan Cossou  6-5  220  Jr  TE  Greenville
  3. Johnathan Berghorst  6-3  255  Jr  DL  Zeeland East
  4. Nate Umlor  6-6  240  Jr  DL  Allendale
  5. Ian Creech  6-4  240  DL/OL  Portage Central
  6. Jacorey Sullivan  6-3  180  Jr  WR  Muskegon
  7. Turner Ruby  6-4  285  Jr  OL  East Kentwood
  8. Evan Plate  6-3  220  Jr  LB  Greenville
  9. Walker Christoffersen  5-9  165  Jr  DB  Muskegon Catholic Central
  10. Blake Dunn  5-11  175  Jr  ATH  Saugatuck

Class of 2018

Antwan Reed  6-7  275  So  Muskegon: What an introduction to big-time football. Reed’s live-game debut came as Muskegon’s starting left tackle — at Novi Catholic Central. In week 2 acquitted himself well against Grand Rapids Christian, showing the makings of a tough run blocker. This is the 10th starting season combined for the other four Muskegon linemen, so Reed’s in the perfect spot to learn. He’s one of 2018 line prospects who have already made a positive impression this season, as have Traverse City West’s Ryan Hayes, Rockford’s Cody Caronee, St. Joseph’s Trevor Dilley and Hudsonville’s Hunter Stearns. But Reed stands above them all, he could be a truly special tackle recruit.

Lake Area Honors: Week 2

Lake Area Offensive Player of the Week

Tyler Trovinger  5-11  190  Sr  QB  Mona Shores: His college choice doesn’t even have a football team. That will work out fine though since Trovinger is committed to Oakland for baseball. He’s certainly getting the most out of his final football season, his first at QB. Mona has put up a pair of double-nickles, beating West Ottawa in the opener 55-0 then Fruitport 55-14. Trovinger broke Mona legend Tyree Jackson’s 2013 school record with six TD tosses against Fruitport on 9-of-16 passes for 235 yards. He capitalized on the Lake Area’s most dangerous receiving corps with TD receptions of 80 yards from Hunter Broersma, 24 and 11 yards to Kobe Burse, 14 and 11 yards to Deandre Oakes-Owens and 56 yards to Darece Roberson. It will get tougher from them all in week 3 at home against Rockford.

Lake Area Defensive Player of the Week

Ryan Beadle  5-9  190  Sr  LB  Portage Northern: The Huskies’ defense didn’t give up a point in their 29-7 win over Kalamazoo Central. Beadle led Portage Northern with six tackles while recovering and fumble and making an interception.

Lake Area Small School Player of the Week

Jacob Buchberger  6-2  185  Sr  QB  Montague: He oversaw an offense that actually trailed at half but ultimately put up 70 points on Ravenna. Buchberger ran a dozen times for 252 yards including TDs of 65, 55, 65 and 30 yards, while completing 6-of-11 passes for 117 yards including TDs of 54 and 20 yards.He also contributed on defense with an interception and special teams with a 55-yard run after a faked punt.

Lake Area Northern Michigan Player of the Week

Luke Sage  6-1  195  Sr  LB  Boyne City: He lead a defense that shut out Charlevoix, 13-0, while holding the inaugural Northern Michigan POW, Charlevoix junior Jared McLean, to 61 yards on 14 carries. Sage had 13 tackles, including four behind the line. He also caught a 61-yard TD reception.

Lake Area Coach of the Week

Josh Sellers, Traverse City St. Francis: So far so good with the return of Sellers to the Gladiators’ sidelines, where he won two state championships in his five-year tenure with St. Francis that ended in 2007 before taking coaching positions in Tennessee. His first team back in the Mitten has yet to allow a point this season, most recently beating McBain 35-0. They opened the season with a 42-0 defeat of Marquette.

Lake Area Prospect Watch: Week 2

Class of 2016

Seth Benson  6-0  200  Sr  LB  Vicksburg: He broke his foot during the spring in track, so Benson missed the camp season. Coaches will want to get ahold of his film though based on what he did in Vicksburg’s shutout opening win over Dowagiac. He’s a fourth-year varsity player who is really cashing in. Playing just the first three quarters against Dowagiac, Benson made 14 tackles, including three behind the line, forced a fumble, recovered a fumble and returned an interception 40 yards for a TD.

Andrew Madison  6-6  225  Sr  TE  East Kentwood: He’s an intriguing prospect. He didn’t play last season but Madison has kind of plateaued as a basketball prospect, stuck as a dreaded tweener forward. As a tight end, however, he has about perfect size, and the basketball hands were evident with a pair of key catches in EK’s opening win at Farmington Hills Harrison.

Monterio Smith  5-10  160  Sr  RB/DB  Comstock Park: To achieve full satisfaction as a running back in Comstock Park’s offense you have to be a threat catching the ball, and Smith has really improved in that area. Last Saturday against Cedar Springs he had seven receptions for 192 yards, including TDs of 61 and 21 yards, while also running 12 times for 73 yards and two more scores, including the game-clincher in the fourth quarter. Comstock Park has seen a steady stream of GLIAC recruits under coach Mark Chapman, and Smith and QB Pat Naughton look like they’ll continue the trend. The former will have to really pack on the muscle though to be an every down college back.

Nick Turowski  6-2  180  Sr  WR  Comstock Park: Receiver can be a tough position to judge at the high school level, because it’s so dependent on the guy throwing the ball, and the plays being called. Turowski is lucky enough to play with one of the Lake Area’s top QBs, senior Pat Naughton. He takes advantage of the situation by running consistent routes and making a square target for Naughton. The Panthres went to Turowski early and often in their Gridiron Classic win over Cedar Springs, as he finished with 10 catches for 125 yards including an 11-yard TD.  His speed was also on display starting in CP’s defensive backfield. A strong student, Turowski should be the toast of D3 recruiters.

Zach VanValkenburg  6-4  235  Sr  DL/LB  Zeeland West: He disrupted Oak Park’s offensive flow throughout the nightcap of the Gridiron Classic at Grand Valley State. VanValkenburg is back at the defensive end position he played as a sophomore. He pursued well down the line, though was sometimes overly enthusiastic and got beat by the run by getting too deep into the Knights’ backfield. He also made key plays offensively, in his first start at right tackle, and on special teams. After Oak Park’s Miles Daniel took Zeeland West’s first kickoff all the way back for a TD, on the Dux’ next attempt VanValkenburg was the first one down the field tackling Daniel. He is a top student and has an offer from Hillsdale and is being recruited by Ivy and Patriot League schools.

Class of 2017

Vincent Coakley  5-10  170  Jr  LB  Kalamazoo Central: K-Central had strong linebacker play in a tough defensive game, ultimately a 13-6 loss, to St. Joseph. 6-1, 215 Tyler Lyle had double-digit tackles for the Maroon Giants, not surprising he’s a known commodity. Then you throw in Coakley on the outside, who was flying around the ball all night and hitting harder than his frame suggests.

Corey Hatcher-Malone  6-3  245  Jr  LB  St. Joseph: With Traverse City’s Thiyo Lukusa, a MSU commitment, matriculating to New Jersey to play his final high school season, Hatcher-Malone becomes the most widely recruited player in the Lake Area. He’s versatile and well-coached, and helped lead St. Joseph’s to a strong season opening defensive performance at Kalamazoo Central, whether lining up at inside linebacker or defensive end, hand up or hand down; at tight end he also had a key catch and big block. Hatcher-Malone repeatedly compressed the Kalamazoo Central pocket, and while he didn’t always wow with overwhelming physicality, but got it done with fundamentals and competence.

Lane Potter  6-3  265  Jr  OL  Hudsonville: He’s the starting center on what is an overall beefy offensive line, no surprise in the Salad Bowl. Potter helped Hudsonville cover over 300 yards on the ground in the Eagles’ season opening win over Holt. He’s technically sound, improved flexibility and speed could push him into scholarship territory next season.

Class of 2018

Ryan Hayes  6-6  240  TE/DL  Traverse City West: Some day we may look back and realize TC West had two Power 5 players on the left side of their line, Illinois commitment Jake Cerny at tackle and Hayes at tight end. He shows the ability to catch the ball and the Titans look to him in the flat or the seam. He also sees time lining up at either defensive end, and shows good quickness though he needs to get develop moves to get himself free of the offensive line. Hayes is a three-sport athlete — football, basketball, baseball — and one of the real promising underclassman prospect in the Lake Area.


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